Off The Record: August 9, 2021

Off The Record: August 9, 2021

Representative Image. Credit: Pixabay Photo

Before Pegasus, in Kashmir

The recent spate of revelatory news stories on potential hacking of phones using Pegasus spyware led to an uproar across the country. The news may have come as a shock for people in the country but in Kashmir, it was not something unexpected for a common man. For decades, everyone in Kashmir has had a right or wrong perception that his or her phone is being tapped by security agencies. People feel that even if they talk about asking someone to fetch milk and bread from the market that too comes to the notice of the agencies. And long before Pegasus, people in Kashmir would hesitate to discuss any important issue over the phone even with their spouse.

Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar

Pork for boxer till next Olympics

Pork has made it to the list of free sops being offered to Olympics medalists. Symbiotics Foods Private Limited, a firm based in Assam, has offered free Gahoree or pork till the next Olympics for woman boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who bagged Bronze medal for India in the Tokyo Olympics. "As a small token of love and appreciation, we would like to offer her free 'A Slice of Gahoree' for the next five years. We believe our "A Slice of Gahoree" will help her become stronger with a continuous supply of quality protein and no one will be able to beat her in the next Olympics," CEO of the company Manoj Kumar Basumatary posted on Facebook. Lovlina hails from Assam's Golaghat district. The offer comes when free air tickets and pizza have been offered to athlete Neeraj Chopra and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won gold and silver respectively at the Games.

Sumir Karmakar, Guwahati

Are all worried about 'timing'?

When Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin wanted to pay last respects to senior AIADMK leader E Madhusudhanan on August 6, his office checked whether the AIADMK top brass— O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami— were at the departed leader’s residence. Once he knew they were there, he proceeded to the place where Madhusudhanan’s body was kept and expressed his condolences. It is said that Stalin wanted to send a message that he would follow political decency. And hours later, EPS and OPS, too sent out a clear message to their former boss V K Sasikala. They left the place half an hour before Sasikala was to pay last respects to Madhusudhanan. Everyone seems to be worried about the timing.

E T B Sivapriyan, Chennai

Support to the hockey star

Uttarakhand government has declared Vandana Katariya, a member of the Indian women's hockey team that reached the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics, as the brand ambassador for the state's Department of Women and Child Development. Katariya's family had to go through a harrowing time as a group of people hurled casteist slurs at them after the women team lost the bronze medal play-offs. The miscreants were arrested and the government decision to celebrate and honour Katariya is also seen as a strong signal of support to the hockey star.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

Trinamool's 'no' to Rahul

It seems the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has a problem with Rahul Gandhi. While the Mamata Banerjee-led party is coordinating with the Opposition, it is keeping away from any initiative by Rahul. Top leaders like Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien gave a miss to joint Opposition meetings chaired by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha in which Rahul was in attendance. Most of the senior MPs of the party also give a miss to Rahul's breakfast meet for Opposition MPs. This comes despite the Congress acknowledging and supporting TMC's Abhishek Banerjee after he emerged as a potential snooping target through Pegasus.

Shemin Joy, New Delhi